Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Evidentials are used in Kareyku to mark how evident one statement is or the source of said statement. Only one evidential marker can be used each time, and they can be used either with verbs, adjectives or nouns. There are seven evidentials in Kareyku:

-s, -si Determines that the statement is fact either empiric or to the speaker.
-n, -ni Determines that the speaker heard about the statement.
-ch, -chi Determines that the speaker assumes the statement to be true.
-l, -li Determines that the thing being referred is famous for doing what is stated.

-sha Determines that the speaker "believes" the statement to be true.
-lya Determines that the thing being referred is infamous for doing what is stated.
-lcha Determines that the statement is obvious.

So for instance, if we have the previous example sentence: qappaka pile 'I eat fish'. We can further develop it into:

qappakas pile. I eat fish (it's a fact, I'm doing it).
qappakan pile. I eat fish (I have heard, I don't remember).
qappakach pile. I eat fish (I assume, because I'm eating it).
qappakal pile. I eat fish! (I'm famous for that!)

qappakasha pile. I believe I eat fish.
qappakalya pile. I eat fish (I'm infamous for it, because I eat too much or I don't finish them).
qappakalcha pile. I eat fish (duh! It's obvious!)

Evidentials have an active role in formality and informality contrast and in politeness vs. rudeness. For instance, it is considered in Kareyku culture that you should not always be sure of things you say, even when talking about yourself the continuous use of the "fact evidential" can result in rudeness. The rudest of them all, of course, is the "obvious evidential" which is considered very aggressive and rude, you should never point out to others they don't know something, even when you are right or even if the fact is really obvious.

The case with the "infamous evidential" is interesting. It used to be a respectful or augmentative equivalent of the "famous evidential" but as time passed it started to be felt pompous and so developed as a satirical comment, thus infamity for doing something too much.


  1. Cool. As I mentioned, I tentatively decided on a "famous" nuance like yours, but I never thought of it as an evidential, although it makes sense. Also, the "infamous" nuance is quite interesting (and the development from an augmented "famous" is cool).

  2. Thank you so much! I knew you would enjoy the emergence of the "infamous evidential". Actually it's something similar to what happened to one pronoun in japanese, the pronoun ki-sama. It used to be very pompous and of the highest respect, but today it's one of the most rude and vulgar pronouns for address. Used by Vegeta and so many others.

  3. Now that I think about it more, I think it would make sense for the (augmented or plain) "famous" evidential to come to be used sarcastically, e.g.:

    "He is (very) famous for being smart" (said of someone who really isn't smart; or at least it is commonly believed that he isn't smart)


    "She is (very) famous for her weaving skill" (said of someone who is good at weaving, but only few people know it).

  4. echristopherson, don't confuse infamous with unfamous. The latter is not-famous, while infamy is used when describing someones bad habits or traits, e.g. "he is infamous for being rude".

    I like the evidentials. Could you give an example of a proper way to use the obvious evidential?

  5. Yes, that's true. Even though the "famous evidential" could develop, as you said, eric, into a "not-famous evidential" here it has develop as an "infamous evidential". I think the reason is that if you are too famous for some excess at some point it starts being negative.

    Sliv, a very good example of the "obvious evidential" would be if you are sitting in a table and you are about to eat some fish from your plate. Someone could ask

    - Chaman koy?
    - pilélĉa!


    - What's that?
    - It's fish, duh!

    That's why it can be so rude, since maybe the person knew it is fish and asked the kind of fish or maybe it was difficult to recognize it as a fish.